- BlackRock will begin offering bitcoin trading and custody services.
- The asset manager is partnering with Coinbase to facilitate trading desk and custodial operations for its institutional clients.
- Coinbase Prime will act as the custodian and it does not seem to have external wallet transfer functionality.
BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager with over $10 trillion in assets under management (AUM), is launching bitcoin trading services for institutional clients in a new partnership with Coinbase, per a blog post from the exchange.
Coinbase will leverage its institutional brokerage platform Coinbase Prime to provide BlackRock’s end-to-end investment management platform Aladdin direct access to bitcoin trading and custody.
“Our institutional clients are increasingly interested in gaining exposure to digital asset markets and are focused on how to efficiently manage the operational lifecycle of these assets,” said Joseph Chalom, global head of strategic ecosystem partnerships at BlackRock, per the blog post.
“This connectivity with Aladdin will allow clients to manage their bitcoin exposures directly in their existing portfolio management and trading workflows for a whole portfolio view of risk across asset classes,” Chalom added.
Bitcoin acquired through this integration will be held in custody with Coinbase Custody Trust Company, a regulated fiduciary in New York. On behalf of its clients, Coinbase Custody holds assets in cold storage and is insured for up to $320 million. While users of Coinbase Prime can transfer funds between wallets, they can only do so internally, which means that transferring bitcoin off the platform currently does not seem to be an option.
BlackRock serves over 1,600 institutions across the U.S. and Canada. The investment manager’s interest in bitcoin was made apparent in February as reports on its imminent entrance into the ecosystem started to emerge.
At the time, a person familiar with the matter said, “They see all the flow that everyone else is getting and want to start making some money from this.”